By MATT PIKE
St. Joseph Post
The St. Joseph Health Department will hold a clinic on Friday to raise awareness of vaccinations that some parents might not realize are needed.
The St. Joseph Health Department, along with Mosaic Life Care, have chosen Friday as Teen Immunization Day.
Health Educator Stephanie Malita says Teen Immunization has been a partnership with Mosaic over the last few years.
"It's kind of just to draw attention to the fact that teens going into eighth grade and twelfth grade also have booster requirements," Malita tells KFEQ/St. Joseph Post. "People think of back-to-school boosters as being for the younger kids, and certainly the kindergartners need them as well, but that's sort of more common knowledge I guess."
Malita says Teen Immunization Day is designed to encourage teens to come in and get those shots taken care of.
Malita says just like anything else during the back-to-school season, the need for these shots can sneak up on parents.
"People sort of get caught up in, pretty soon we'll have that tax free weekend, so everybody will be out shopping for school supplies but in terms of getting the vaccinations done, that's not always top of mind for parents," Malita explains. "Especially, like I said, when it comes to the teens but there are some really important immunizations that will help protect them better."
Malita says some of the required vaccinations teens need to receive are against meningitis and tetanus. The Health Department is also offering the COVID-19 vaccine.
Last year in August alone, during the back-to-school period, the St. Joseph Health Department gave nearly 14-thousand non-flu shots Malita says.
"When you're talking about doing essentially half of your business for the year in one month, that tells you how crowded it gets in the lobby and your wait time increases," Malita says. "So, if you can get here this week, or to your regular provider."
Malita reminds parents that without the required vaccinations students will not be able to start school when classes begin later this month.